Car Recycling: Revealing The Important Stuff

If you’ve damaged your vehicle beyond repair, you might be left wondering, “how do I scrap my car?” And it’s not a stupid question car recycling can feel complected.

But, as always, I’m here to shine some light on the situation. Whether it’s how to find a scrap metal yard? What parts can be removed and sold? And how much money you can expect for recycling your Vehicle.

Can Cars Be Recycled?

The Short answer is yes; cars can be recycled. Over 12 million cars are recycled in the US alone, and 8 million cars are recycled throughout Europe.

However, if the car is still in working order, it might be a better decision morally to donate it to a charitable organization that can make any repairs and give it to someone in need. You can usually get a receipt for the donation that, with the right tax tools, can be used to reduce income tax levels for a given year.

Vehicles ready to get recycledCar recycling plants years ago were not as efficient as it is today, but as technology is advancing, so does the ability to recycle more and more materials.

It’s thought that around 86% of a car can be recycled, which means nearly every part of a vehicle is suitable for recycling.

Here’s a few car parts that can go to a vehicle recycling facilcity:

  • Tires
  • Windshields
  • Batteries
  • Oil filters
  • Rubber hoses
  • Plastic bumpers

I don’t know about you, but a few of these items caught me by surprise. Oil filters are contaminated with oil, so I was surprised to find out they could be recycled.

If anything, it’s a true testament to how far recycling has come!

How Do You Recycle Cars?

Recycling cars is easy; it’s knowing the right procedure that can be tricky. If you feel like you’re struggling, then this section is perfect for you.

The first place to start is with a quick google search for a recycling business near you. You need to look for a plant that has excellent safety ratings and environmental standards.

And with so many harmful chemicals in a car, it’s essential to make sure it’s handled correctly.

You need to find an auto recycling center that holds a Certified by the Automotive Recycler association (ARA).

ARA website

It shows their commitment to helping the environment, and you can rest assured the recycling is handled responsibly.

Once you found the right place, you need to call the scrap yard. They’ll usually ask if you need to schedule towing or if you are going to drop it off yourself. The latter option often sees you receive more money for recycling your vehicle.

Before recycling your vehicle you need to remove any personal belongings you have in the vehicle, remember you won’t see it again after recycling the car.

You also need to cancel any policies the car has connected to its name. If you’re planning to drive to the yard, make sure you don’t do this until you’ve dropped the car off.

The last thing you need to do before recycling is to transfer the registration. If the car gets used for illegal activities, then the police might be knocking on the door.

But, what if there isn’t a good car scrapper in your area?

Removing car parts yourselfYou have a few options if this is the case. You could stick it online as spares and repairs; some people make a living from reconditioning cars.

If your vehicle is a classic, then I’m sure someone will pick it up.

If that doesn’t work out, why not send it to a local charity? Some charities like “Wheels For Wishes” are more than happy to take them.

They try to fix them up for people that can’t afford one but still need one to get to work. It’s an excellent alternative to recycling.

How Much Do you Get For Scrapping A Car?

It does vary; the price of scrap metal is changing all the time. At one point in time, scrapping your car would be enough for a holiday. Unfortunately, times changed now; you’d be lucky to get enough for a weekend away.

Another factor is the weight of the car, right now scrap metal goes for around $80 per ton. So, if you have a large SUV you could see considerably more money then you would for a hatchback.

different makes and models Make and model is also a factor to consider, a newer car has more recyclable materials than an older car. And that’s not the only reason you can get more money.

Some times the working spares on the car can be worth more money to the auto recycling center.

Car parts are becoming more expensive, which means more people are buying reconditioned parts than ever.

And this also opens up options for you to make some extra money. If you’re car-savvy, taking the parts off yourself and selling them could see you triple the price you’d get from car scrapping. But, as I said, you need to know your way around the car.

What Parts Of A Car Cannot Be Recycled?

You’d be surprised how much of a car is suitable for recycling, although it’s worth noting that most of the materials cannot be recycled in your home bin. It takes specialist processors to recover materials from a car, which most recycling centers don’t have.

And with recycling technologies advancing all the time, we can recycle more than ever; you need to be smart about it. Even car batteries have no issues with recycling.

Here are a few things that couldn’t be recycled until recently:


Windshield recyclingIt used to very difficult to recycle old windshields because the glass was sandwiched in-between two layers of plastic to stop it shattering.

But now as technologies have improved, replacement companies have started working with recycling companies.

Here are a few things the glass gets repurposed into:

  • Fiberglass insulation
  • Concrete blocks
  • Glass bottles

At least it’s cutting down on waste!


old tires ready for recyclingBurning old tires used to be the only way to get rid of the old ones, but this resulted in the air being polluted, and a toxic/flammable runoff.

Since then we’ve found better uses for old tires then harming the environment:

  • Turfing playgrounds
  • Rubber bands
  • Automotive belts
  • Asphalt

That’s just a few of things old tires can get re-purposed for, and at least it stops it being burnt or left to clog up landfill sites.

Oil Filters

oil filter recyclingI know I mentioned this earlier, but I’m still kind of surprised about it. Oil filters have to be disposed of correctly by law.

If you’re looking to recycle your old one, then take it to your local garage. They’ll usually take them off your hands and recycle them correctly.

Here’s what happens to them:

  • Old oil gets turned into low-grade oil
  • Steel is turned into cans, cars and other appliances

So, although it may seem like something isn’t recyclable, that isn’t always the case.


I think that should be enough to answer any questions you might have about the vehicle recycling business. But, there are a few things you should remember.

Find the right vehicle recycling business for you, read their website carefully, and make sure they uphold the standards set by CAR.

Always ring around to find the best quote, most scrap yards will offer varying prices. Once you’ve agreed with the price, you need to schedule a pick-up/drop off time.

Make sure all policies connected to the car are removed before recycling your vehicle.

If you have any recycling questions, please comment below, I’d love to hear from you. If you like what you’ve seen, don’t forget to show support and share us on twitter.

Let’s stay united in making the world a better place.

If you want to learn more about recycling, why not check out my article about recycling Nespresso pods.

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